That's a picture of me drinking a strawberry lemonade.It's been a long time since I had a blog, but the ideas still come to me. When they do I jot them down in Evernote in half-scribbles and formative sketches, just to get them out of my head. But I've been watching tynan.com with increasing intrigue as SETT comes into its own, and the community he's building makes my Evernotes feel awfully lonely. So here we go: this is the inaugural post at madeofmetaphors.com. Thanks to Tynan for letting me be an early adopter on SETT.A little bit about me: My name is Brian. I try to live a rich, exciting life. I'm a bit of a malcontent; I'm happier with change than I am with comfort.
I've spent most of my career - half my life, as of this writing - making videogames. I'm a computer programmer. I manage teams, too, and a lot of my thinking is around the work of management: how do we work with other people? How do we help others do better work? How do we help people grow?I have a background in Buddhist philosophy and psychoanalysis; I've done years of work with a western psychoanalytic therapist and years of on-again, off-again meditation and mindfulness practice.I'm athletic: Rock climbing (bouldering, specifically) is my most enduring sport, but I've biked some thousands of miles in my life, spent at least a few hours total in headstand in Iyengar yoga classes, lifted weights, swam, and have a string of short-lived experiments like Brazilian jiu-jitsu, breakdancing, gymnastics, and probably some stuff I'm forgetting.
I've done a lot of cooking. I've done a bunch of woodworking. I've given a bunch of talks at industry conferences. I like to travel. And so on.
I think and speak in metaphors. I think metaphors are some of the most powerful tools for explaining concepts, because they tap into the existing patterns and models in our brains. I think about that a lot, too, how we learn and how we understand things. And so I intend for this blog to be a collection of metaphors I use to talk about the experience of life.And that's the core of it: metaphor is my experience of life. Metaphor is what lets me learn something from rock climbing and apply it to my leadership work. Metaphor is what helps me explain a tricky concept from one field to experts in another in terms they'll understand. Metaphor takes the laundry lists I've just written and synthesizes them into a single, integrated, wonderful life.
I drew that illustration a few days ago, on Christmas.
In my family, Christmas is about being with people. I have a large family, largely of Roman Catholic Irish ancestry, and I see a lot of them when I fly back to the east coast for Christmas. I find it an interesting challenge to be with them all. I don't mean that they're hard to be with in the sense that they're rude, or have poor hygiene, or run rapidly through the house or hide under tables. I just mean that it takes a lot of attention from me to really make the most of the time I have with each of them.